Is it possible to minimise candy consumption?
While banning candy isn’t likely to happen, parents and guardians can still adopt measures to control the candy-craze during trick-or-treat season. Jenni Grover, registered dietitian and co-founder of Realistic Nutrition Partners in Durham, N.C., gives a list of strategies:
1. Don’t impose an absolute ban. The worse thing we can do is to teach kids to think about candy as ‘forbidden food.’ This is because perceived ‘scarcity’ and attaching emotions to food can affect long-term eating habits like overconsumption. Grover recommends allowing kids to eat as much as they want for a day or two as kids can tire in the end.
2. Out of sight, out of mind. Instead of displaying candy in dishes around the house, keep fruits within sight.
3. Edit the stash. Let kids know that you plan to sort through their Halloween stash, letting them keep their favourites while disposing the rest of the unwanted candy. Sorting can also teach kids to make better food choices in the future.
4. Dinner before trick-or-treat. Let your kids eat a full, healthy meal before going out trick-or-treating. A full belly means less appetite for the sweet treats.
5. Coordinate with neighbours. Use your personal connections in the neighbourhood to influence houses to give toys or healthier snacks instead of candy.